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We Edit Life

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We Edit Life

Published 2002

"Experimenters in visual perception are using computers to create weird and random patterns that never occur in real life to find out what and how people see when these patterns are shown to them. The art of computer graphics is only in its infancy yet it is already stimulating creative thought in far out areas where research is likely to get complex and unwieldy. If offers not only the means to quicken the pace of discovery but an ideal of communicating what we may discover" - We Edit Life.

We Edit Life was commissioned in Spring 2002 by Lovebytes in partnership with the Studio of the North, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Arts Lottery Programme. We Edit Life is now available for purchase on a compilation DVD called "Volatile Media".

Should you wish to use this in a film screening, festival or other public showing of any kind, PLEASE let us know - it is good for our biography to keep note of where it has been shown so we can make another one.

This is some next-level stuff, people.

Producer Vicki Bennett
Production Company People Like Us
Audio/Visual sound, color
Contact Information


Reviewer: dumpster diver - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2013
Subject: Great stuff
Nice job on the chroma
keep uploading.
Reviewer: Time Travelin Mike - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 2, 2009
Subject: Incredible Work of Art!
After viewing this, all I can say is "WOW"! This, in my opinion, should be viewed as a work of art. It isn't meant to make you laugh or to make fun, but is an attempt to express an idea, which is the birth of computers. This work is successful in capturing not only video and audio of the past, but also it's spirit. Viewers must realize that this is abstract art, and not to be taken as literal, but the feel is consistent throughout. A lot of thought went into this. Good job!
Reviewer: Ruby Quincunx Pictures - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 4, 2007
Subject: Very Good
Fascinating little movie. The song the robot sang was a very lovely swirl of sound. Who composed it?
Reviewer: boogaloobungalow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 9, 2006
Subject: people like us.
i was called upon in the third grade class
i gave my answer and it caused a fuss
i'm not the same as everyone else
and times were hard for people like us

Reviewer: oreblue_jay - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2006
Subject: Thank you Vicki, thank you Adult Swim, et al
OK, it seems a lot of people are missing an incredibly important element here, and if you don't get it after this weekend with all the hints [as] has been dropping, you probably never will, or perhaps you just need to hang out with someone who has taken the pod home with them, so to speak (or had it home-delivered). This short is profound in its implications for understanding how the brain processes information and how a slight tweak can have scientifically reproducable effects. Really COOL effects. Ever wonder what the color blue might smell like if your brain processed it as a smell? What if your brain processed a bass noise as a color or a taste? Gettign the picture now? In other words, your brain is one HELL of a powerful home entertainment system given the right circumstances, and [as] and People Like Us are trying to help you find a new entertainment medium -- your own brain. True fans of anime will perhaps see the ghost in the machine here, the rest of you will have to keep trying. The only thing that creeps me out about this short is that the Westinghouse robot looks too much like Jimmy Kimmel, which seems entirely appropriate.
Reviewer: bartmc - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2006
Subject: adult swim
That was something I half would expect to see in a Stanley Kubrik film. I think I might have nightmares about a robot sining a song about dying. Whether that's a good or a bad thing I'll let you decide. Thanks Adult Swim.
Reviewer: VidaBluePhoenix - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2006
Subject: Adult Swim
Thank you Adult Swim. Now I realize that we all must die one day, sooner or later. Thank you. That was deep.
Reviewer: MrMarker - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 30, 2006
Subject: Awesome
Scott Marker is hella tight.
Reviewer: mrlukeplease - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2006
Subject: These things usually bore me.
But "We Edit Life" is very nicely done. Great pacing, excellent choice of audio and visual,
Reviewer: Floyd Turbo - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 26, 2006
Subject: Bravura Performance by Elektro the Moto Man
The robot in this film was built by Westinghouse and performed in the Westinghouse exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair. His appearance in "We Edit Life" rivals his sensitive portrayal of Thinko the Campus Computer in the 1960 classic, "Sex Kittens Go To College" starring Mamie Van Doren. No kidding. You can't make stuff like this up.

Kudos to the makers of "We Edit Life" for pursuing their artistic vision even if I don't understand it.
Reviewer: MediaWhore - favoritefavorite - June 10, 2005
Subject: Video Collage
I love the technique used here of compositing a mix match of different video/film clips and creating something new (just like sampling in electronic music). The subject matter here didnt really come off for me in an entertaining manner but I appreciate the artful technique none the less.
Reviewer: danzeb - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2005
Subject: Lost interest
After a few minutes I lost interest.
Reviewer: Anthony Lavado - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 27, 2004
Subject: Sliced and Diced
Absolutely spectacular experiment. Great editing, and even better music experience. Music Alone Shall Live is going to be rolling around in my head for a long time now.

This is great groundbreaking work that is rarely seen. The use of satrical humour and that bit of nostalgia just give it that well rounded effect that makes you laugh at history, and as the title suggests, how we've edited life ourselves.
Reviewer: Germaine - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2004
Subject: Caldecott
A handful of the first children's books I ever owned featured plastic, colorful and not-quite-3D covers that made a satisfying scratchy noise when I dragged my fingernails up and down their ribbed surface.
With this 'video', Vicki Bennett has managed to capture this long lost lenticular experience for me.

"We Edit Life" is, in its simplest form, lots and lots of fanciful decoupage images, all X-Acto-trimmed and glued and accompanied by a merry soundtrack created in the same cut-and-paste manner.
Should you watch this ostensibly friendly short film more than once, you'll be convinced that most of the visuals were clipped from a mildewed stack of old magazines. You will also wonder why you recogize the pervasive xylophone tune from somewhere in your past. And you will become acutely aware that there is no other possibility than to combine the 1933 world's fair zombie robot with the cheery sing-along "Music Alone Shall Live".

This is an eerie and beautiful work, which I remember, I think, from long ago, in pieces.
Reviewer: jjjefff - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 24, 2004
Subject: Hooray for People Like You!
Having watched this thing for something like 90 minutes in a continuos loop, I feel safe calling this is a mesmerizing piece of work. If I was a fancy pants newspaper critic, some descriptive phrases I would attribute to "We Edit Life" would be: "...intricately spellbinding", "...dazzlingly brilliant", "...hypnotically layered" or "...savagely wicked awesome!"
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